I vaguely remember watching a movie many years ago where Satan was chasing some teens. They found a book and discovered magical symbols that would ward off Satan. They fashioned some of the symbols out of twigs to hang around their necks. It worked.…for a while. Yes, most of them died.
This bad movie made me think about how movies treat spiritual evil. Writers and directors must manipulate Biblical teachings in three important ways so humans have a remote chance of surviving Satan or even a mediocre demon.
First, you need to eliminate Jesus from horror movies. Movies that include Jesus and Satan fighting each other would be over quickly and, yes, Jesus would always win. So, for the movie to be scary, the movie requires Jesus to be on a lunch break. Without Jesus, Satan can make humans suffer. Of course, this is before most or all of them die a grisly death (which is what makes a movie a horror movie).
No movie, to my knowledge, has tried to reduce Jesus’ power to the level of that of Satan. How do you effectively reduce the power of God?
Look at this verse.
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can snatch them out of the Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
Since Jesus is God, Satan, and all the demons are like ants when compared to him. As a result, Jesus is always a downer in a movie. Who can compete against him?
Secondly, horror movies reduce Satan and demons’ power. Their power must be reduced to that of say a “Jedi”. It is possible to kill or contain a Jedi. It is not possible to kill a spiritual being. Horror movies must turn Satan and demons into evil pussycats to allow humans a chance to fight back. This provides them with a small element of hope, which keeps us watching.
The third important change is that with just the right amount of magic, humans, even atheists, can overcome Satan or a demon. If humans can do something magical, such as wave a wand, chant a phrase in Latin, draw some spiritual symbol in blood on their forehead, etc., they will be protected. Many movies focus on just the right magic and how to obtain it. Once in the person’s possession and usually after several deaths, the survivors fight and defeat the Satanic forces.
In reality, I am sure Satan would not want to bother chasing around a bunch of teens who opened up some magical, evil portal or walked into the wrong haunted house. Satan doesn’t waste his time on people like you and me. He commands lower-level demons to do that but Jesus doesn’t allow them to hurt us like you see in movies.
Satan possibly possesses the same power as the archangel Michael. According to the Bible, we get the hint that Michael is possibly the most powerful angel in heaven. However, he does not even use his authority in an argument with Satan. Instead, he calls on the power of Jesus to defeat Satan. Read this:
Jude 9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”
If Michael needs Jesus’ power to stop Satan, Satan or even demons will never be contained by anything humans can do. No magical wands, no Latin phrases, no special potions, and no sacred symbols will defeat them. Our only response to Satanic evil is found in Michael’s response. Only faith that calls on the power of Jesus Christ can put Satan (or any demon trying to influence you) in his place.
The next time you watch a horror movie that has Satan or a demon in it, ask yourself, “How would this change if Jesus was one of the actors?” Well, that might ruin the movie for you.